How to Do a Biceps Curl

The bicep curl is a popular exercise among weight training enthusiasts. It is highly accessible while being a great movement for strengthening the upper arms. As the name suggests, the biceps of the upper arms are the main focus of this exercise, however, the brachialis and brachioradialis of the lower arms are also activated.

Performing bicep curls will help with everyday activities such as picking up objects. This exercise can also help with shoulder stability, which is very important for the overall health of the upper body.

How To

  • A standard bicep curl takes place from a standing position with feet planted firmly at about hip width apart. Stand with your hands relaxed at your sides, gripping the dumbbells in an underhand grip with palms facing forward. Keep your thumbs on the same side of the bar as your fingers for optimal contraction in the biceps.
  • Set your shoulder blades by drawing them slightly together and down your back. Engage your core and exhale as you slowly lift the weights up toward your shoulders. Make sure to keep your elbows tucked into your sides at all times.
  • To complete the motion, slowly lover the weights back all the way down to your sides. Be sure not to stop three-quarters of the way down, and make sure you are lowering as slowly as you lifted.


Three sets of 8–10 repetitions is a good goal to start with. If this feels too easy, you can always add more weight or add more sets.

A good starting point for weight would be 5– 0 lbs. If you’re recovering from an injury, you may wish to start with 2lbs.


Using a barbell: The stability of a barbell can help when you are looking to lift heavier weights—just remember to lift and lower slowly while keeping momentum out of the picture. You can also play around with using a wide grip to target the shorter inner head of the bicep, or a close grip to target the longer outer head of the bicep.

Exercise band: If you don’t have access to weights, an exercise band can work just as well for this exercise. Stand in the middle of the band and grip the ends of the band in the same position as you would grip the weights. You may have to play around with where you hold the band to achieve the right amount of tension.

Kettle bell curls: Using kettle bells to perform bicep curls sees the weights you are lifting in a slightly different position than a dumbbell. With the weight sitting under the hand, you’ll feel more tension in the lower bicep and forearm.

Seated: If you are unable to stand, or are looking to give your lower body a break, seated bicep curls are just as effective. Unless you are doing curls with your elbow resting on the thigh, make sure to keep that back straight, and keep the elbow tucked in to your sides.

Cautionary Notes

If you find the need to use momentum or speed to lift the weights, that is a sign that you are lifting too heavy. Using momentum only robs you of the benefits of the exercise and exposes you to the potential for injury.

Make sure not to allow the shoulders to roll forward as you lift. If you find your shoulders need to roll forward in order to complete the movement, you are again using too much weight.

Keep the back straight and core engaged at all times. Slouching or arching the back can lead to injuries.

Other Biceps Exercises

Reverse Grip Push up

More Biceps Curl Related Resources

Top 10 Bicep Curl Strength Exercises
Dumbbell Bicep Curl | Exercise Videos & Guides |
How to Do the Perfect Bicep Curl
20 Best Biceps Exercises for Men’s Arm Workouts
How To Do A Bicep Curl – Get Healthy U
Bicep Curls | Illustrated Exercise Guide
Bicep Exercises | The 10 Best for Building Muscle
Top 10 Bicep Curl Strength Exercises

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